‘Her spirits are unbroken’: Mary King sustains fractured vertebrae, ribs and shoulder blade in fall

  • Mary King is recovering having fractured vertebrae, ribs and her shoulder blade in a fall from a young horse.

    The 61-year-old eventing legend was taken to hospital after the “unplanned dismount”. Her daughter Emily King explained that the wind caught the arena gate and blew it into the horse’s quarters.

    “She hung on like a pro as he bronced across the soft sandy school but unfortunately timed her dismount with the wooden siding to the arena/stony outside,” Emily said.

    “Unfortunately this has resulted in fractures to her C3 vertebra (and wings of several other vertebrae), seven ribs and her left scapular.”

    All the fractures are stable and do not need to be operated on, Emily said, adding that Mary is now back at home and her “spirits remain firmly unbroken”.

    “She’s 100% in herself and is already looking at the event calendar and threatening to pick up her tennis racket (!!),” Emily said “I’ve warned her to stop joking or I’ll be putting her on a lead.”

    Emily also said a “huge thank you to Annie Corbin for dropping everything and zooming to her aid”, and to the “incredible team at Derriford Hospital who cared for her impeccably”.

    “I also wanted to say that even though the media has maybe died down a little — Nicola Wilson and Caroline March, we are still thinking of you every single day and praying that you both make as successful recoveries as possible… never, ever feel that people have stopped thinking and praying for you,” she added.

    “Times like these remind us how precious life is and that we must not take any day or anything for granted.”

    Mary King is one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful eventers, with two Badminton titles and one Burghley win, five British national titles and four British open championships.

    She has represented Britain at six Olympics, winning two team silvers and one team bronze, and three World Equestrian Games, with two team golds and one team silver. She also has four European gold team medals and one bronze, and individual silver and bronze.

    She broke her neck in 2001 but came back to the top level, and has notched up a win and five top-10 placings in national classes this year.

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